I’ve spent many evenings enjoying cocktails in the Lobby Bar at One Aldwych. From bad first dates with inappropriate men, to pre-theatre drinks and post-theatre drinks, to hours spent putting the world to rights with best friends.
It has always been my go to place for a sophisticated atmosphere and a glass of rosé wine. Walking into the Lobby Bar at One Aldwych will always evoke some powerful memories but yet I have never stayed in the hotel or eaten in one of the restaurants. So when I was invited to sample the food and one of the rooms I must say I was excited. If the hotel was anything like their fabulous cocktails, I knew I would be in for a treat.
On first impressions I wasn’t disappointed. The reception staff provide an impeccable service and I was very quickly introduced to Howard – the Hotel Manager who spoke passionately about the hotel and its desire to showcase local talent (you may have heard of Paul Smith) within the walls of the hotel. All of the staff I encountered during my stay spoke with such pride about the hotel which is not always the case, even with the nicest of hotels.
As we arrived mid morning our room was not ready but we were invited to wait in the private area called Lounge at One. Hidden behind a beautifully mirrored door, Lounge at One is a fantastic space for guests to relax, catch up on some reading or in my case settle down for a few hours work. With a dedicated member of staff on hand to take drink and food orders I felt very looked after.
The good service continued with a member of staff letting me know that my room was ready. The hotel really is a beautiful space, from the checkered mirror effect in the elevator up to the corridor the attention to detail is really impressive. The artwork and beautiful flower arrangements add to the boutique, one of a kind feel that flows throughout the hotel.
I had an executive room overlooking the Lyceum Theatre with a king size bed, desk area and a bathroom with a tub and separate walk in shower. It has become customary for me to check out two aspects of any hotel room. Firstly if the room has a bath I will fill it to the brim, pour as much bath oil as I can get my hands on into the water and soak until I feel like I have had adequate time to reflect on the experience. Secondly I will exit said bath and wrap myself in the complimentary bathrobe for longer than probably necessary. Unfortunately I didn’t spend quite as much time on this part of the review as I would have liked but I can report that both the bathtub and the bathrobe lived up to my high expectations. I particularly liked the mist free mirror (an absolute must have in my opinion) and the bathroom’s own mini TV!
My pampering was cut tragically short because I had arranged to meet a few friends for cocktails. As much as I wanted to keep my bathrobe on I reluctantly changed into my suitable attire and made my way downstairs to the Lobby Bar. I’ve never know the Lobby Bar not to be busy; it certainly does attract a mixed crowd of business folk, tourists and theatre goers. This visit was no exception. Thankfully the hotel had reserved a table for me, something I would thoroughly recommend, so I was able to sit with my customery glass of rosé, some nibbles and await the arrival of my friends.
As the evening progressed so did our tour of the cocktail menu. I can’t say I was too adventurous moving from wine to fizz but my friends certainly pushed the boat out with their selection. The Magic Gift cocktail, made up of butter-washed Dalmore 12, mushroom infusion, chocolate liqueur, French vermouth, sugar syrup, was served in a hip flask much to the amusement of my Scottish companions. As moorish as the complimentary nibbles were I needed something a little more substantial to soak up the alcohol so I ditched my friends and made my way down to Axis at One Aldwych.
Tucked away in the lower levels of the hotel, Axis at One Aldwych is a striking restaurant. The modern British menu fits in perfectly with the contemporary atmosphere throughout the rest of the hotel. The excellent service I had so far continued with the restaurant staff. The food and wine pairings provided by the fantastic Sommelier were wonderful and I particularly enjoyed the atlantic cod for my main course. I must also mention the banana tart I had for dessert. It was delicious. I’m salivating just thinking about it!
After a wonderful night sleep I made my way down to the gym and spa in an attempt to work off the excesses of the previous night. One Aldwych has a great health club and spa. The 18 metre swimming pool with under water music and mood lighting is particularly cool.
My last but no means least experience at One Aldwych was breakfast in the Indigo restaurant which overlooks the Lobby Bar. It is a comfortable space to sit, read the paper and enjoy the fantastic breakfast menu. You can tell a lot about a hotel’s breakfast by the patrons eating with you. If there are local business people hosting morning meetings along with the hotel guests you can pretty much guarantee a good breakfast is on its way to you. There were quite a few business meetings taking place that morning and I left One Aldwych happy and full.
One Aldwych is aptly named: it is one of the best hotels in London.
Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at One Aldwych. Our opinions are entirely our own. Advertised minimum rate per night is £283 (August 2014).